Watching my Mother dancing and singing to the songs of "The Sound of Music" at the age of five was incredibly disturbing. It was seven years before anyone was able to sit me down in front of the T.V to the musical during the annual telecast in Sydney. Almost to my horror, I was falling in love with the musical. More than two years later, not a single movie has been able to pass it in my favourite movies stakes. I have made judgemental mistakes with great movies. Greats like "Casablanca", "The African Queen" and "The Wizard of Oz" have originally also <more>
been frowned upon. "The Sound of Music" expanded my horizons on the movie world. I eventually went on to view non-musical classics as a result of this single movie, and now old classic movies have become a genuine passion. Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote their greatest work in the form of their last musical, despite the fact it was "Carousel" that was their favourite. Although the changes made from the original stage production have now been evident in the arrival of the excellent musical currently playing in Sydney, much have been for the better. Throughout their career, the duo created immortal musicals, but in story, song and film, "The Sound of Music" surpasses "The King and I", "Oklahoma!", "Carousel" and "South Pacific" in all aspects. We all know the story. We know of at least one of the immortal songs from the musical, "The Sound of Music", "My Favourite Things", "Do-Re-Mi" or "Edelweiss". Julie Andrews was believable and unforgettable as the sweet, outspoken novice nun turned governess, who should have taken out the oscar that year. Christopher Plummer was dashing as the Captain, and the supporting cast was one of the best I have ever seen. Fond memories have been remembered from some of the unforgettable sequences of this film that deservedly made it the best picture of 1965.Yes, there are sugary elements in the movie that cannot be denied. But this movie has never been reliant upon sex, violence or drugs to make it one of the best things to come out of Hollywood. It can be appreciated truly for what it is, pure art, talent and spirit. It is not a real perception of the world nowadays, but for all the joy it brings, who cares?It was the last movie I expected to love as a fourteen year old. It was also the first movie I watched in seven years that could manage to make me shed tears, and view it in loving admiration which cannot be equalled. "Singin' In the Rain" is the only other contender to the title of "The greatest movie ever made". Whatever its flaws, "The Sound of Music" is one of the worlds best loved treasures which keeps bringing generations of viewers to its attention.Rating: 10/10
This film is a triumph in all departments. Every aspect, from the cinematography to the acting, the sets to the costumes, the music, choreography, script, is top notch. While the film is family friendly and has a sweet story, it is constantly amazing the way people attack it as saccharine and sugary. This can certainly be said of the stage show, but the movie version has been carefully produced to provide a more well-rounded vision. Ernest Lehman worked wonders with the underdeveloped and unremarkable dialogue of the play. He inserted so many moments of wit, humor, romance and poignancy that <more>
are nowhere in sight in the original. the art directors purposefully chose muted settings and colors. Each of the actors bent over backwards to provide a brilliant performance. Andrews is already down in history for the performance of a lifetime and a voice to match , but Plummer is not to be forgotten. Not only is he regal and handsome, but his decision to play the Captain as a complex, sophisticated man with a sly dose of sarcasm was wonderful. His steely, stern persona is eventually melted down by the irrepressible Andrews to great effect. Every supporting performance is also delivered with the right amount of appeal, humor or menace as called for in the script. However, the one that takes the cake....that amazes each time, is the slinky, catty, toweringly glamorous Parker as Baroness Schraeder. Wisely, her songs were cut, further separating her from all the glee around her, so that she could whip out such zingers as "Why didn't you tell me....to bring along my harmonica?" or when she's told that Andrews may not make a great nun, "If you need anything, I'd be happy to help you." The character is given a much more polished and integral position in the film versus the stage and virtually every line of her dialogue unlike in the play is a howler. Though Wood was lovely in her role as the Mother Abbess, it was Parker who should have gotten an Oscar nod....and WON! Every expression, every syllable, every glance belies the decades of experience Parker gained as a leading lady during the 40's and 50's. Her clothes by Dorothy Jeakins are awe-inspiring. This type of film-making is GONE. The location photography, the simplicity of story and design, the sheer good-spiritedness of it all...they just can't do this anymore. Thankfully, there's this flawless gem to turn to when one just want to feel good. But saccharine? No..... Compare this to other beloved musicals with their garish colors and sugary story lines "Seven Brides...", "Singin' in the Rain", "...Molly Brown", "The Music Man", to name just a few... They are all highly enjoyable, but are hardly less sweet than this! Just one word.....Nazis!! Though virtually everyone knows the outcome, there is still genuine suspense at the climax of "The Sound of Music". The film has it all.
It just gains more and more fans every year (by gerry-russell-139)
"The Happiest sound in all the world"? Quite possibly and easily the most famous musical film in Hollywood history. Most of us grown-ups still love it but at the same time we're also tired of seeing it over and over again maybe that's why it's not rerun on NBC every single year anymore . Julie Andrews takes her MARY POPPINS success and adds even more to it with her delightful rendition of the role that Mary Martin originated on the Broadway stage in 1959 and ran even farther with it than Martin ever could. In my opinion, and I don't think I'm alone here, Martin <more>
was too old for the part she was in her mid to late 40s in the stage version and Andrews was 30 when the transition came to film came around--a perfect age . As for the rest of the cast, it is just as talented: Christopher Plummer in the role he will be forever remembered for even though he hated the part is an achingly true Cap. Von Trapp with those "hidden talents" making subtle appearances throughout the film until blatantly bursting out into the open in the film's closing scenes; Richard Haydn makes for a comical and yet sincere "Uncle" Max, Peggy Wood is a starchy yet compassionate Reverand Mother and Charmian Carr as Liesl stands out as our perrenial favorite of the seven children. The locales are breathtaking as well esp. the opening scenes which is probably the most beautiful aerial shot in all of film history and the cunning floral designs of the public Austrian gardens during the DO-RE-MI sequence . So let's all keep watching this most cherished of all musical films each year and never forget it's universal sentiment: to 'climb ev'ry mountain, ford ev'ry stream, follow ev'ry rainbow till you find your dream'.
Sometimes saccharine can be a good substitute. (by gbrumburgh)
1965's "The Sound of Music" is everything a bad musical should be. Providing more sap than a forest full of Vermont maples, it has coy, silly songs, an inane, innocuous script, and unbelievably sugary characters. So why is it one of my favorite musicals? OK, go ahead. Shoot me at twenty paces. But after all this time, it still remains a guilty pleasure. I find myself going for a tub of rocky road ice cream and Rodgers & Hammerstein's immortal classic whenever the real world gets to be too much. I seem to play it a lot around tax time.And I'm not alone. Why is it <more>
still considered the most popular musical of all time? Well, first of all they spared no expense. The extremely well-produced blockbuster has gorgeous, eye-popping scenery. From the first moment Julie Andrews flails her arms and circles around on that beautiful sunny hillside singing the rousing title song, I know I'm being swept away to another world. I'm not in Kansas anymore...or L.A., anyway. The panoramic Salzburg background complements and never intimidates or takes away from the characters or their story like the other R & H extravaganza "South Pacific." That in itself is an incredible feat.Now about those songs. Almost every one of them is absolute drivel. So what makes them work? Easy. The utter joy and sincerity of the cast who sings the infectious, hummable tunes, which are backed by extremely moving orchestrations and an exceptionally beautiful score. It's hard to resist Maria prancing about, pillow-fighting with a bunch of knee-highs and gushing about her most favorite things. Or the austere Captain Von Trapp the meticulous Christopher Plummer turning to butter after hearing his brood sing in perfect harmony for the first time with no prior lessons even and joining right in. Or the Mother Superior's soaring number that unknowingly forewarns Maria to head for the hills I mean, mountains before the Nazis escort them elsewhere. Or the 16-year-old going on 17 squealing with delight after receiving her first kiss. Or the kids working up a clever little ditty to leave their formal party guests when its time for bed. Or two people declaring their love in a moonlit gazebo. The songs work because they come straight from and aim for the heart, not the head, which is exactly the place the viewer should be coming from when watching this movie. If the songs don't transcend the script which they didn't prior to the 70s , they certainly transcend the mood.The script is undeniably trite and probably the film's weakest link. But again, the characters play it straight all the way. Not one actor looks embarrassed. Every scene is done with total enthusiasm and total commitment, and the performers who are telling the story are pitch-perfect and picture perfect. And as for the characters. Try and think of anybody better than jubilant, crop-haired Julie Andrews as a postulant nun who has gorgeous pipes, can make play clothes out of curtains, can set up and operate marionette shows at the drop of a hat, and is confident enough to convince a man that a failed nun is ideal marriage material. I certainly can't. Thank heavens for her Oscar-winning "Mary Poppins" the year before or we might have gotten Julie LONDON instead! After all, Andrews did lose out on "My Fair Lady" the year before. But now certifiably bankable, she proved she could handle this dream role. Andrews is cutely silly, cutely stubborn, cutely astute, cutely shattered and cutely...well, cute. She gives the most wholesomely appealing musical perf since Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz." To actually make you forget Mary Martin in the Broadway role takes some doing and she does it effortlessly. Christopher Plummer is all seriousness, handsomely patrician, and quite a catch for anybody...much less a nun. I can't think of anyone more suitable for this role either. As for the Seven Little Foys, I mean the Von Trapp children, they are adorable and perfect in their own ways too, whether they are marching or singing, creating their own individual personalities by film's end.Richard Haydn as Max and Eleanor Parker as the flamboyant, haughty Baroness provide wonderful catty relief. Despite having their musical numbers snatched away from them, they make up for it with droll, sophisticated humor. The elegant, perfectly coiffed Parker is particularly delicious as Maria's chief romantic rival, getting some of the film's best zingers and delivering them with biting understatement. Parker developed a devout cult following after this role. Peggy Wood's Mother Superior is suitably reverent and inspiring.For those who tear "The Sound of Music" apart for its shameless, sugar-coated manipulations, well, I can respect that. But to attack it for its political and historical inaccuracies is like attacking "Peter Pan" for being a subversive plot that encourages young children to run away from home. It's ludicrous. Despite the fact that it's based on a true story, we're not watching "The Sound of Music" for stark realism. Like a sparkling and lavish Ernst Lubitsch operetta, we want a feel-good movie, with feel-good songs, with a feel-good story, and a feel-good ending. Nothing more. If you want a movie that presents a potent depiction of pre-war Austria or anti-Nazi sentiment, rent "Holocaust" or "Schindler's List." Here, we want to believe that a group of nuns can tear out an automobile carburetor and save the world! Period.I suppose the reality-based MTV generation cannot truly respect or relate to the relative innocence and pure escapism like "The Sound of Music." If this movie was made today I'm afraid the Von Trapp children would not be dangling out of trees for fear of drive-by shooters. It's a tough new world today, sad to say. The 50s and 60s are looking better all the time.Anyway, for what it's worth, "The Sound of Music" is indeed schmaltz, but its QUALITY schmaltz at its very, very best.
Hollywood should come up with more movies with songs and dance numbers (by satyanshu_singh)
I saw this movie just a few days ago. I have seen a number of English movies, but this was special. I am from India and the movies here inevitably contain songs and dance numbers, barring a few exceptions. But as many as 10+ songs in a Western movie was something new for me, and it was unique. But I loved it. I showed the movie to my mother. She doesn't understand English very well, I had to keep interpreting the lines for her. But she too loved the movie. I had read somewhere, this is one movie, a copy of which should be there in every home on Earth. And i agree. It is an experience I <more>
wont ever forget. however, I wonder, why are musicals so rare in the west? we watch almost 100 Hollywood movies every year, and I have watched just two with songs. Movies from the west are good, I only wish they produce more of musicals, I am sure the world is ready for some of those. And I am sure, the west can make great musicals each month. I hope someone grants me my wish.
I once saw an article in a magazine was it FHM or MAXIM, can't remember , that listed this movie as one of the 50 worst films of all time. I would have thought it was just a joke, but then the list also contained Batman and Robin. I guess I don't know much about acting, directing, producing or even criticizing movies. One thing I can objectively say is that this movie was for me the most 'rewatchable'. I could watch it over and over again without being tired of it my sister could actually recite the whole movie word for word . After that article in the men's mag and <more>
the fact that no movie, no matter how highly rated on the IMDb, is without a negative comment , I am forced to say again that I don't know what makes a movie good. I can however boldly say that this movie should automatically accompany every purchase of a VCR or DVD player!
The best ever musical about an Austrian folk singing nun (by Pedro_H)
A spirited nun leaves her convent and becomes a governess in pre-war Austria. Here she teaches the six children about love, life and music against the growing threat of Nazism.Your fingers hesitate on the keyboard before making comment on a film that is more a phenomena than a stretch of celluloid. This wasn't just a smash hit in the normal western markets - it also went huge everywhere and has stayed huge. The whole Indian film industry is descended from the template set down here.While this was a well regarded stage musical, this wasn't seen as a natural box office smash a musical <more>
based on the life of a nun! and was probably thrown to Robert Wise more an action - than a music - man because he was known for being able to operate well on a budget all those B pics! It was just as well, production was hellish: They had forgotten didn't know? how moody the European weather could be even in Summer and the genuine Austrian period folk songs didn't shine new ones were quickly written ; and beyond that many of the children had no real film acting experience.The success of the film is nothing but a bag of paradoxes, the must striking being that is was old fashioned even when it was released. Beat based pop music was dominating the sales charts and the sixties were beginning to swing. Hem lines were going up hair lines were going down and James Bond had already introduced casual sex and violence to the screen.This may have been made in 1965 - but it could easily have been made 20 years earlier and is the off-screen product of people that probably were coming to the end of their best creative period. Oscar and Hammerstein had already penned most of their famous musicals and must have been amazed that they struck their largest gold reserve so late in the day.As Noel Coward once observed, the one thing that critics overlook is that the public are looking for simple minded entertainment, not messages or meaning. And this is both simple minded and entertaining if you can live with heavy schmaltz . There are certainly no messages, unless you need to be told that love and music are good and Nazi take-overs are bad!The songs don't so much act as light relief, but provide the film with a life support machine. As drama the whole thing can't get out of second gear - even the Nazi threat doesn't raise the drama level beyond village theatre. I also guess we are supposed to know what these people really represent from other sources?Julie Andrews performance is massively underrated. Here is someone that has to sing, dance and act with children sometimes all at the same time! and yet makes it look easy, natural and spontaneous. When has, say, Robert De Niro ever done anything as technically difficult as this?In many ways SOM is bullet proof can you imagine Mel Brooks/Jerry Zucker doing a spoof? family entertainment. A plot everyone can follow, charming children, excellent score, pretty scenery, perfect lead and a happy ending - if not for the rest of war torn Europe!As a footnote. Twentieth Century Fox lost all the profits they made on this film on musical follow ups that included Hello Dolly, Star and Dr Dolittle - which makes clear that the whole thing was, indeed, just a giant happy accident and musicals were not what the audience secretly wanted all along.
Tuneful Score; Honest Emotions; Great Fun and a Flawless Production (by silverscreen888)
The "Sound of Music" is set in the mountainous hills and the city of Salzburg, Austria. There is to my eye at least, something about its spacious alpine countryside which dominates and informs the entire production. The air, the light, the music, the styles of dress, the activities--everything is "elevated", with hardly anything being sea-level about it. And the film has a very good "engagement sequence" at the opening, when we learn about the central ethical character and experience her leaving the abbey where she has served along with her, and begin to care <more>
about her purposes. The story-line is simple and relatively direct: A young nun, unsuited to the profession, takes a job as a governess to the children of a difficult client--a captain in the Austrian navy who runs the household like a ship's company of sailors, complete with a bosun's whistle and a lineup of the children in matching uniforms. The body of the piece is then concerned with Maria, the governess, subverting the household and winning over the Captain until he gives up his present lady friend, a Baroness; then when Maria, who has been falling in love with him, goes away and comes back, he has to tell her he is in love with her also. They marry, to the children's delight in a great ceremony in a rebuilt replica of Salzburg's cathedral; but a Nazi Parrty official has words with the Captain. The family, against the Captain's former feeling, then enters the Sazlburg musical festival as the Von Trapp Family singers, something he had earlier opposed; and, winning the contest, they flee and are helped at her old abbey by Maria's Prioress and her friends there. The nuns sabotage the Nazis' cars by stealing parts, and Captain Von Trapp leads his family up over the mountain pass to freedom as the film ends. This happy film is filled with tuneful songs ranging from the ultra-simple "Eidelweiss" ballad to "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" , "Do Re Mi", "My Favorite Things", "The Sound of Music", "I Have Confidence", "The Lonely Goatherd", "Something Good", "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and the voice-challenging "Climb Every Mountain". Robert Wise directed this complex film, which features many sorts of scenes. Everything to me looks clean, bright and, frequently, even Austrian. Ernerst Lehman wrote the screenplay from the Broadway "book" by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse that borrowed its fictionalized biography from Maria Augusta Trapp's autobiographical work; Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II supplied the music and lyrics. Ted McCord provided lucid cinematography, with the production being designed by Boris Leven. Ruby R. Leavitt and Walter M. Scott did the complex set decorations while famous Dorothy Jeakins created the many vivid costumes. In the large cast, Julie Andrews was a charming Maria, though she was not particularly Austrian. Christopher Plummer had some very good moments as the Captain, Eleanor Parker played the Baroness with great skill and Richard Haydn was the Captain's impresario friend, Max. Ben Wright was the Nazu gauleiter, Peggy Wood the Mother Superior, and among the nuns were Anna Lee, voice-dubbing soprano Marni Nixon, Evadne Baker and Portia Nelson., In the cast also were Daniel Truhitte, Norma Varden, Gilchrist Stuart as Franz the butler, with the children Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Angela Cartwright, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Debbie Turner, and Kym Karath. It is a bit difficult for me as a writer to account for the highly-positive qualities of the film, since in my judgment they exceed the sum of the film's parts. The characters and relationships seem real to the viewer, I suggest, because we discover them along with Maria; her personal dilemmas are interesting, and the use of the Nazi Anschluss as a threat, a problem for the Captain, and a dark cloud hanging over the sunlit lives of the folk in the film works very well. The contrast for instance between the nuns' early disagreement over Maria's character and their helping to thwart the Nazis pursuing the family at the film's climax becomes a highly-symbolic movement; and like the growing love between Maria and the Captain and the children's being won over by their new governess, because the movement again is allowed to develop by slow stages, the satire-level comedy with its touch of drama works powerfully on an audience. There is much to be admired in the simplicity and the beautiful imagery of this film; if it is not an artistic masterpiece, it is frequently absorbing, moving and unaffected all at the same time.
A Beloved, Very Likable Film, But Twice Was Enough (by ccthemovieman-1)
I took me over 30 years to finally watch this film, something I did in 1998....and I could see why this is such a beloved film. I watched it one other time, about five years later on DVD, but didn't enjoy it as much and traded it for something else. However, I still have a high regard for the film. The film is a throwback to something you might see in the 1930s or '40s - a super-nice, old-fashioned movie led by Julie Andrews, who probably never again looked as pretty and wholesome as she did here. In fact, her image from this was so squeaky-clean that she went out of her way to play <more>
some sleazy parts in coming years. Too bad. At least here, she's a joy to watch. The kids are all nice, attractive and well-behaved, something else you don't see much anymore on film. Christopher Plummer is the male lead and once he loosens up, he's fine, too, as is the usually-funny Richard Haydn. Even the bad guys in this film - the Nazis which include Eleanor Parker - aren't prevalent. They don't have a lot of scenes in here even though they are an integral part to the story.The film is nicely photographed, too, and I don't mean just the Austrian Alps.I did think there were too many songs in here, something of them done twice. That's too much. Maybe that's what made me think two viewings were enough. I'm not big into musicals. On my second viewing, for some reason, I found the movie too boring in too many spots, which means a number of them since it's almost three hours long in total. It was slow-starting and I just couldn't get into it. I am glad at least I could enjoy this once.